Africa in Our Lives: Rich Beilfuss

When he’s not playing unicycle hockey or running marathons, you can probably find Rich Beilfuss in the field working with one of sub-Saharan Africa’s six species of cranes. Dr. Beilfuss is the President & CEO of the International Crane Foundation (ICF), an organization headquartered in Baraboo, WI that works worldwide to conserve cranes and the ecosystems, watersheds, and flyways on which they depend. He talks to the African Studies Program about his fieldwork in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, his experience developing the ICF’s Africa Program, and the partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa that make the ICF’s work possible.

Field of study: PhD Wetland Ecology; MSc Civil and Environmental Engineering, MSc Water Resources Management; BSc International Economics
Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin for 32 years (born in Chicago, IL)

What brought you to Madison?

I moved to Madison in 1985 to study Nepali in preparation for a year abroad in Nepal. I returned to Madison for graduate school following my year in Nepal, and first connected with the International Crane Foundation starting in 1988. I have since worked with ICF for most of the past 30 years, except the period when I moved to Mozambique to work for the restoration of Gorongosa National Park.